Hello and welcome everyone. This is Minoo at Anglo-Link.
First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who have posted comments and
questions for me on YouTube,
Facebook and on Anglo-Link's forum.
If you're watching this video on YouTube, and you would like to enable subtitles,
click on the button
at the bottom of this video.
Today, I've chosen some questions that you've posted for me on YouTube. There are a couple of
general questions and then a few specific questions that I will be answering.
Many of you have asked how you can improve your listening and speaking skills.
I have chosen three questions to read out for you.
Ricardo says: "I need to understand when I watch a movie.
What can I do?"
"I really want to improve my English.
I'm not confident enough to use it
because I'm very embarrassed when I make mistakes while speaking.
Is there any advice for me?"
And, Ali Ismail says:
"I live in an Arabic country and there is no-one near me who can speak English,
but I need to practise it.
What can I do?"
Let's start with 'listening',
because I do believe that improving your listening will naturally improve your
As I have said before,
in order to improve your listening, you have to do listening activities.
Now, there are two types of listening activities you can do:
global listening and detailed listening.
Global listening is when you just listen for the gist, for the main ideas.
I would recommend that you choose easy,
or YouTube clips,
and just watch them without trying to understand every single word.
If it helps, you can watch
with subtitles, English subtitles first,
and then watch the same thing several times without subtitles. So, that's
global listening and it's really really important.
Now, the other activity you can do, which is also very useful, is detailed
listening, and that is when you
listen and write down everything that you hear.
It's a dictation or a transcription exercise. I have done a video for you on improving
your listening skills.
I recommend that you watch that first to know what are the difficulties that you
might encounter when doing transcription exercises,
and then do whatever transcription exercise you can find.
There are some videos in our channel that you can use. Now, as I said, improving
your listening will naturally improve your speaking.
But if you want to accelerate your speaking abilities, you need to work
specifically on your pronunciation and on assimilating the grammar, the
structures of the language.
Turning to speaking now.
As I've just said,
improving listening skills will naturally improve your speaking skills.
However, if you want to accelerate that,
what you need to do is to work on your pronunciation and on assimilating the
structures that you're learning. You can assimilate structures by repeating
phrases that include those structures. In order to help you with that, we have
introduced a certain level of membership on our website. It's called
Premium Plus membership
and that gives you access to the recording of all the exercises, the
questions and the answers.
So you can
listen and repeat
for your pronunciation and for assimilating the structures.
Right, now turning to Ali's and Hogiartha's questions about the
confidence to speak
and the opportunities to speak.
Once you have improved your pronunciation and your listening,
and you have assimilated structures,
it's time for you to go and use what you're learning.
Okay, it's true, you will be making mistakes,
but please don't be afraid of making mistakes.
Making mistakes gives you feedback on what you need to improve next.
Remember that English is not your mother tongue. You're learning it, and it's
to be making mistakes. So, have confidence. Go out there and speak
and you will learn more.
As Ali says, sometimes, you may not have the opportunity in your immediate
environment to speak English.
In that case, I would strongly recommend that you find someone online to practise
and from time to time, occasionally,
have a lesson,
a 'small group' lesson
or a private lesson with a teacher face-to-face or online,
to get feedback on how you're doing,
what's good and what needs improving.
Okay then, let's move on to some specific language questions.
I have chosen three questions about conditionals.
The first question's from Elnur,
who says: "I was taught at university that there is actually a fith type of
conditional called mixed conditional.
Why didn't you include that in your tutorial?"
You're absolutely right, there is a mixed conditional, but it's not as common as the
other four, and that's why I didn't include it in the video on conditionals.
This conditional is when
the past action has a consequence in the present.
For example: "If I had seen him yesterday,
I wouldn't be here today."
So, the action is in the past, but the consequence is in the present.
Therefore, you have a mixture of the third conditional in the 'if' clause,
and the second conditional
in the 'consequence' clause.
Thank you for pointing that out.
The next question about the conditionals was about the second conditional,
and it comes from Robert,
"Can we swap 'were' for 'was' in conditional
No 2, or would it be wrong?
Some people regard it as correct and acceptable.
So, can we say: "if I was" instead of "if I were?"
Grammatically speaking, 'were' is the correct form. So, if you're taking an exam or
you're doing an interview, use 'if I were', 'if it were', 'if he were',
'if she were'. Use 'were'.
Also, for me, if it's completely hypothetical
like in sentences:
"If I were you ..."
or "if I were twenty years younger ...", you should stick with 'were'.
In low probability situations like: "It's not a nice day. If it were
nicer, we would go out."
You could say:
"If it was nicer, we would go out." That's acceptable.
The last question on conditionals comes from Saad,
and it's about the third conditional, he says:
"Sometimes, I hear Americans use the past simple in the 'if' clause in the third
where past perfect should be used.
If I had time last week,
I would have visited you.
Is that correct?"
Gramatically, it's not correct, but
in America, in American English, the third conditional is not always well-formed.
Sometimes, they use the past simple,
like in Saad's example.
And sometimes, they might even use 'would have done' twice. So, 'would have done'
in the 'if' clause
and 'would have done'
in the consequence clause, like "if I would have had time last week, I would have
Personally, I would avoid this structure, but it's common and acceptable in America.
And the last question I'd like to deal with in today's video, is about the
I've had several questions about the futures from you because they are a little
I'm going to read
Akhilesh's question for you.
He says: "In the sentence 'I will drive to work this time tomorrow.' we should use
'will be driving'.
Why? Is it because it's a future arrangement without a specific time?
Please explain it to me."
I'd like to answer this question by reminding you of the usages of
the three future forms that are often confused with each other. One is
the 'Going to' Future:
'I'm going to do.'
The other one is the Future Continuous: 'I will be doing'
And the other one is the Present Continuous used for the future: 'I am doing'
plus a future time marker.
Now, really in most situations,
all three are correct.
It's only when you want to insist on a specific connotation
that you need to separate them.
For example, if you want to show that you have an arrangement with someone, you
'I am doing'.
So, it would be something like "I am driving John to work
at eight o'clock tomorrow." That says that you have an appointment, an arrangement
If you want to say that you have made a decision, or you've made a plan, then
use 'I'm going to'.
"I'm going to drive to work tomorrow.
I'm not going to walk."
And finally, the Future Continuous, 'I will be
driving to work at eight o'clock tomorrow.",
just shows that,
as usual, at a specific time in the future, you will be doing something.
So like: "Yesterday at eight o'clock, I was driving to work.
It is eight o'clock today: I am driving to work.
And, tomorrow as usual,
I will be driving to work
at 8 o'clock."
That's the real difference
between these futures, but very often, they are
interchangeable when it doesn't matter what the connotation is.
Right then, this brings me to the end of this video. I hope you've enjoyed it.
Don't forget to ask me more questions and make comments in the section
and I look forward to seeing you in our next video.